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Effects of Light, Temperature, Irrigation and Fertilizer on Photosynthetic Rate in Tea (Camellia Sinensis)

  • B. Gail Smith (a1), William Stephens (a2), Paul J. Burgess (a2) (a3) and M. K. V. Carr (a2)


Photosynthetic rates were monitored during the warm dry season in tea Clone 6/8 in a line-source irrigation × fertilizer experiment in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Irrigation and fertilizer increased photosynthetic rate both by enhancing photosynthetic rate per unit leaf area (A) in healthy leaves and by increasing the proportion of sunlight intercepted by photosynthetically efficient leaves. Irrigation-induced increases in A could be accounted for by increases in stomatal conductance (g) and associated reductions in leaf temperature. Fertilizer at an annual application rate of 225 kg N ha-1 caused increases in A associated with increases in g and improved responses to ambient CO2 concentration and illuminance (photon flux density, PFD). However, a further increase in fertilizer application rate to 375 kg N ha-1 a-1 decreased A in spite of increasing g. Light-saturation of photosynthesis occurred only at the higher fertilizer application rate. In unfertilized tea or tea fertilized at the lower rate, A decreased at a PFD of between 1400 and 2000 μmol m-2 s-l. These results are discussed in terms of the relation between photosynthesis and yield in tea.

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Effects of Light, Temperature, Irrigation and Fertilizer on Photosynthetic Rate in Tea (Camellia Sinensis)

  • B. Gail Smith (a1), William Stephens (a2), Paul J. Burgess (a2) (a3) and M. K. V. Carr (a2)


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